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Between Friends

2014-08-15 14:05
What's it about:

After 7 years, college friends reunite at an up-market Game Lodge in South Africa. Long buried secrets shared by old friends are eventually exposed, causing tensions to arise in current relationships. A stylish, funny tale of the new South Africa.

What we thought:

I’m always a bit apprehensive when going to see a South African rom-com. It just never seems to be done right.

And while Between Friends has garnered a lot of press play and international accolades it failed to impress me. It’s a mediocre cross between Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married and Malcolm D Lee’s Best Man.

Following the typical rom-com Hollywood conventions a group of friends meet up after not seeing each other for years. Their happy reunion soon turns sour when underlying secrets start bubbling to the surface. Yawn. I’ve seen that movie too many times to be excited by it.

Njabalo (Siyabonga Radebe) a spoilt little rich boy becomes manager at his daddy’s game lodge. To celebrate his promotion he invites his brother, Nkanyiso (Thapelo Mokoena) and three other varsity friends for an all expenses paid weekend at the lodge.

Linda (Lihle Dhlomo) is an author who lives in Canada and she has a boyfriend named Justin (Morne Du Toit). Portia (Mandisa Nduna) and Winston (Dumisani Mbebe) are a married couple who have serious relationship issues.  Nkanyiso is accompanied by his girlfriend Nisha (Amanda Dupont) a gold digger who also has a bit of a psychotic side to her.

The plot consists of a love triangle, a devastating secret and run in with a Mafioso character.

I didn’t enjoy anything about this movie. It just felt like a cheap copy of things we’ve seen before. There are so many scenes that are unconvincing and unreal that I found myself rolling my eyes and cringing through most of it. I also found myself hoping that it would be done soon because it is unnecessarily long.

The acting wasn’t too bad but there were too many things about the plot and characters that had me grating my teeth.

For instance the relationship between Portia and Winston. It’s the type of relationship that needs a Dr Phil intervention. She treats him like a doormat and everyone else constantly makes fun of him.

Another role that was downright embarrassing is that of Justin. Whenever he spoke to Linda he had this puppy dog expression and sickly sweet voice as if he was in pain. I’m sorry. Who can take a character like that serious?

I don’t know if this is a true representation of modern South Africa and if I am the target market for this film (which I assume I am), but it left me feeling alienated.

I am a proud supporter of local films but I just wish they would tell stories that are more authentic with real character portrayals. Wait for the DVD or watch at your own peril!

Between Friends is just another Hollywood rom-com knock off.
Read more on:    thapelo mokoena  |  movies

Thabiso 2014/08/17 15:25
I always hate overseas knock-offs...There is nothing South African about this movie. Really though. Comedy, Music, Sitcoms, drama; all these are becoming Americanised by lazy Film Studios and Distributors. This is some bullsh*t. I'm not wasting even R10 on a pirated copy.
Thandiwe 2014/08/18 10:14
Just after reading that its a reunion, I quickly thought of "why did I get married". I also hate these americanised version of movies and sitcoms. I must admit though, I have not watched the movie, I'll watch and make up my mind then.
Ntombo Makhubalo 2014/08/19 08:50
come on ppl can we jst for once do our own beautiful things zasemzantsi tjooo ons raak nou te erg
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